Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths found on the walls of the uterus. They can vary in size from less than 1 inch to as large as 12 inches in diameter. Some take years to develop while others grow rapidly over months. A woman may have one or more fibroids at the same time. Approximately 20% to 80% of women develop fibroids by age 50. 

Most women with uterine fibroids have mild or no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Heavy prolonged periods (seven days or more)
  • Abnormal spotting between periods
  • Anemia (low iron count)
  • Frequent and/or urgent urination
  • Constipation or bloating
  • Pelvic, leg and/or back pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Hormonal medications, such as birth control pills or gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa)
  • Hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries
  • Myomectomy, which is the surgical removal of the fibroids
  • Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), which is a non-surgical treatment option

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical, uterine-sparing alternative that shrinks fibroids by shutting off their blood supply. This minimally invasive procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist trained to diagnose and treat medical conditions using image-guided techniques.

An interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through a tiny incision in the upper thigh or wrist into the targeted uterine artery. When the catheter is in position, tiny particles called microspheres are injected to block the blood supply feeding the fibroids and causing them to shrink and soften. The procedure is performed using light sedation and local anesthesia. Patients often spend the night at the hospital to ensure they are comfortable after the procedure and then return home the next day.

You can Request a Consultation with an MIR interventional radiologist to learn more. You do not need a referral.

Most insurance carriers cover UFE. Please check with your insurance provider to see if your specific plan covers the procedure.